but the Kitchen Succinct
Jennah, a query letter or message
(or smoke signal) to a producer through Inktip or any
producer's address (electronic or three-dimensional) can
make a difference as to how you're being initially
viewed. It's as though the producer is
meeting you for the first time, and, thus, you want to
make a good impression.
As someone who has received many
queries from screenwriters, I've found that what I
appreciate most is the two "S's":
Sincerity and Succinctness. What I appreciate
least is when somebody writes me, taking on airs,
posturing about producers who are clamoring for their
written word or how directors or known actors are
attached to the script (which can be a painful and messy
situation, especially if they're attached with Super
Glue), or how much the budget will be on the
"project." It's still only a script and
already it's a "project." Please.)
If something will turn me off faster than fast it's
somebody acting self-important and trying to bowl me
over with how "Hollywoodish" they are.
(Another "please," please.)
"succinct" (or you could use "brief"
or "short" or "pithy" or
"terse" or "laconic."
Sorry. That's not very succinct of me.), when I
see paragraphs of explanation about the screenplay or
its background or how important it is or the author's
background or how important he or she is (refer to the
paragraph above regarding "sincerity"), in
other words, a tsunami of unsolicited information, I
find myself immediately not wanting to read it (the
query and the script). That's not what you
want. Instead, after your brief words, your brief
introduction, you want the reader to be feeling relaxed,
even possibly wanting to know more. (And a good
way for him or her to do that is to...
So... the two "S's.
Succinct and sincere. That's what works for me.
Oh, and one more thing. It
amazes me how many screenwriters don't know the
difference between loglines and taglines. Maybe
I'll cover that in my next column. And don't
I'll be succinct.